Route day to day description, map and photos
5 - Cabane de Valsorey to Cabane de Chanrion, or Prafleuri
hut to Dix hut
route snowing the Classic variation, Day
is a crux day on the classic Haute Route. The
traverse of the Plateau du Couloir is steep
and we need good snow stability and reasonable
weather to complete this section. From the Valsorey
Hut we climb very steeply and directly up to
the Plateau du Couloir. Much of this section
is done on foot with boot crampons, skis strapped
to our packs. The slope reaches about 45 degrees
in steepness at its top. After this early morning
ascent we descend a short way, then over the
Col du Sonadon, to a long and complex descent
of the Glacier du Mont Durand. The day ends
at the Cabane de Chanrion.
a big day, not so much in length, but more in the sense of being deep
in the heart of the mountains, remote and committed. The Chanrion hut
is far from any road, there is no quick and easy exit.
Route: From the Prafleuri, we make a steep
climb over the Col des Roux before starting
the long traverse above Lac Dix. At the head
of the lake we climb steeply up to the Pas du
Chat, then traverse and climb to the Dix hut
at 2928 meters. The difficulty of this day depends
a great deal on the snow quality. If the snow
is firm we can do a very long gradual glide
from near the Col des Roux down to a point far
up Lac Dix, reducing the distance we have to
walk. In softer snow we'll have to descend more
steeply and spend more time on skins.
the Verbier Route: The dining room of the Prafleuri
photo was taken from part way up the slope between the Valsorey
hut and Plateau du Couloir You can see skiers at the bottom, working
their way up. Mont Blanc is the rather large peak behind, not so
far away, really.
nears the top of the slope up to the Plateau du Couloir.
morning sun on the start of the descent from the Col du Sonadon.
|Here we are,
skiing down the short slope between the Plateau du Couloir, which is just
up and right, and the basin leading up to the Col du Sonadon
the skins on the Col du Sonadon, Mont Blanc behind.
was taken from near the Col du Sonadon at the head of the Glacier du Mont
Durand. These skiers area taking a short side trip up the nearby Grand Tête
de By. After a quick ascent of this peak (just for fun) they'll ski down
the glacier to the Chanrion hut. The big massif in the background is the
peaks of Monte Rosa, just above Zermatt.
the Glacier du Mont Durand. The Chanrion hut is in the center of the photo,
low, near the valley bottom. We are looking east in this photo, in the direction
of travel toward Zermatt.
is the key traverse on the descent of the Mont Durand Glacier. Here,
you can see three skiers on the correct line. For obvious reasons
you don't want to go to low!
about to dive into her Rösti avec fromage in the Chanrion hut.
de Chanrion. This hut is in a wonderful setting, remote, with incredible
views. Behind we are looking at the Grand Combin de la Tsesette, one of
the many high summits of the Grand Combin. Of all the mountain huts on the
Classic Haute Route, we have to confess that this is probably our favorite.
on to Day 6.....
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